In commercial insurance, understanding risk factors is crucial for underwriters to determine appropriate coverage and premiums for businesses. One factor that plays a pivotal role in this process is the crime score of a particular location. Crime scores provide valuable insights into the safety and security of a given area, helping insurers assess the likelihood of potential losses due to criminal activities.

Crime scores are statistical measurements that evaluate the crime rates and trends in a specific region. They are calculated by analyzing data from law enforcement agencies, such as police reports, crime incident data, and other relevant sources. The resulting score is used to gauge the relative safety of a location compared to others.

Various factors contribute to the calculation of crime scores, including but not limited to:

  1. Property Crime Rates: This includes burglary, theft, vandalism, and arson, which can lead to substantial financial losses for businesses.
  2. Violent Crime Rates: Incidents like robbery, assault, and homicide not only pose direct risks to businesses but also affect the overall safety perception of the area.
  3. All other Crime: Instances of fraud, embezzlement, and cybercrimes can impact businesses’ financial stability and reputation.

With big data driving a lot of carrier decisions, crime scores have become a factor.  Insurers consider crime scores as a key determinant in calculating premiums for commercial property and liability insurance policies. Logically, here’s how it works:

High Crime Scores = Higher Premiums: Areas with higher crime scores are associated with an increased likelihood of criminal incidents and, consequently, a higher probability of insurance claims. As a result, businesses located in such areas may face higher insurance premiums. We have also had instance were carrier will put higher deductibles for perils such as theft and burglary.

Low Crime Scores = Lower Premiums: On the other hand, businesses operating in regions with low crime scores are perceived as lower risk, leading to more competitive insurance premiums and lower deductibles.

Business owners can take proactive steps to mitigate risks associated with crime and potentially reduce their insurance costs. Implementing security measures such as surveillance systems, alarm systems, and improved access control can enhance safety, which may be reflected in more favorable insurance rates.

Insurers and business owners can benefit from collaborating with local law enforcement to gain insights into crime trends and prevention strategies. Such partnerships can help identify and address specific risk factors, leading to a safer business environment.

Crime scores serve as one tool for insurers to assess the potential risks faced by businesses operating in specific locations. By understanding the relationship between crime scores and commercial insurance pricing, business owners can make informed decisions to safeguard their ventures and manage insurance costs effectively. Emphasizing risk mitigation and loss prevention measures can not only protect businesses from criminal activities but also create a safer and more secure environment for everyone involved.

Contact a Marsh McLennan Agency (MMA) advisor to learn more.

Related insights